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March for Life: Giving babies a voice

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By Tom Hanlon

Even though the bitter cold temperature would scare most from leaving their homes, it did nothing to stop the 500,000-plus pro-life advocates from participating in the 40th annual March for Life.
The event was the largest human rights demonstration in the world, and was held Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C.
Marchers came from all over the country and the world to speak out against abortion and the 1973 decision to legalize it, also known as the Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade.
The theme for this year’s march, according to the MARCH FOR LIFE Education and Defense Fund, was “40=55M,”  explaining that over the past 40 years since the legalization of abortion, 55 million babies have been aborted.  
The founder of the movement, Nellie Gray, who passed away in August 2012, was also honored at this year’s event. Every year, pro-life rallies take place all over the country to protest legalized abortion on this anniversary.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Los Alamos sponsored a group of 26 teens and chaperones, that attended this year’s march. 
Director of Youth Formation Cathy Kohlrust, said this is the third year the church has sponsored a group.  
Going for the first time, was freshman Kim Vo.
“It’s my belief that abortion is wrong and I want to support my belief,” she said.  
The objective of all the marchers is to attend the event every year until Roe v. Wade is overturned.  The marchers walk along Constitution Avenue, past the Capitol Building and end at the Supreme Court Building.
Kathy Lestone, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has attended the march for two years.
“I go because babies are people too and shouldn’t be killed. I think we are helping to change the way people think about abortion. When they see us out there, they realize that abortion is actually thought about and is wrong,” Lestone said.
The group also attended the vigil mass before the march at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who is the chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said in his homily during the mass, “Abortion, like slavery, is not just a religious issue, it is a human rights issue.” He went on to say that women who have an abortion will suffer emotionally for the rest of their lives.
Post-abortion researcher David Reardon, of the Elliot Institute for Social Sciences Research, in a recent study, found that 28 percent of women who had abortions later attempted suicide and more than half did so more than once.  
According to his research, drug and alcohol abuse increased four times among women who aborted, compared to those who carried to term.
Ninety-eight percent of women regretted having undergone an abortion. The study concluded that of the 260 women surveyed, more than 60 percent said having an abortion made their life worse.
LAHS sophomores Sarah Criscuolo and Lorinda Lucero both went to the march for the first time this year.
Both girls said what impressed them the most was the amount of people who attended. Freshman Elizabeth Janke said, “there were a lot of young people there and a bunch of Catholic schools too.”  
All of the teens that went to the march considered themselves the new pro-life generation.
According to a May 23, 2012 Gallup Research poll, 50 percent of Americans consider themselves pro-life, versus 41 percent who consider themselves pro-choice.
The poll also stated that 51 percent of Americans feel abortion is morally wrong, while 38 percent of Americans feel abortion is morally acceptable.         
Sophomore Samantha Courtney, has attended the march twice.
“With all of us, it will catch on and spread out because there are so any people around the United States who believe in it,” Courtney said.
The teens all agreed that the most impressive part of the march was the sheer number of people who come from all over to all stand up for a baby’s right to live.